Building the future, from mother to mother

Building the future, from mother to mother

In South Africa, Enel Green Power, together with the NGO Mothers2Mothers, has involved 13,785 HIV-positive women in a prevention programme. The aim is to reduce the transmission of the virus and to provide tools to lead a healthy and productive life

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According to a Kenyan saying, “To educate a child, you need the entire village.” To empower HIV-positive women in South Africa, the energy of sharing and awareness is needed.

This is the sense of the training and prevention programme that Enel is pursuing, in collaboration with the NGO Mothers2Mothers, in the Limpopo Province, South Africa, where 30% of pregnant women are HIV positive and 43% of deaths among women and children is due to the development of the disease.

It is here that in 2016, Enel Green Power, the renewables division of Enel, built and connected the Tom Burke photovoltaic power plant, with an installed capacity of 66 MW, to the grid. In the area around the plant, during the construction phases and after, local communities, together with our staff of technicians and workers, were involved in the Mothers2Mothers project: a tangible example of what integrating the Creating Shared Value model means to our Group.

From woman to mother, from mother to child

To contribute to building a sustainable future for all, we need to start from the creation of a system of shared values with the communities where we operate. How? By improving the social, economic and healthcare fabric, fighting poverty and promoting education and gender equality.

In the Limpopo Province, we have supported the initiatives of Mothers2Mothers involving 12,433 HIV-positive women in a mentoring and training programme, providing them with information and the tools they need to lead a healthy and productive life. In particular, we have helped women to put in place all possible health actions to prevent and reduce the transmission of the virus from HIV-positive women to their children. For their community, this means less costs for treatment and the construction of a healthy future for new generations.

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“Today the communities of Limpopo have the opportunity to tackle an important economic and social challenge,” stresses Clifford Riddles of the municipality of Khara Hais.

 

“Enel Green Power supports the project to prevent the HIV virus from developing into AIDS, and in particular the transmission of the virus from mothers to their children. And the focus involves both communities and the staff working at the plant”

Clifford Riddles C.L.O. Khara Hais

 

Awareness to build the future

In the Province of Limpopo, Enel’s support to Mothers2Mothers is focused on increasing access and adherence to health services that prevent mother-to-child-transmission (PMTCT) of HIV as well as other maternal services for newborn children, for pregnant women, new mothers and their families empowering them to live healthy lives.

In addition to medical care, HIV-positive mothers are provided with fundamental psychological support: alongside doctors and nurses, there are also Mentor Mothers. They are HIV-positive women and mothers who have already participated in the association’s programme and have given birth to babies free from the virus thanks to adequate medical care. This pathway, starting from the awareness of the problem and its acceptance, empowers women in their communities, thus allowing them to lead a healthy and productive life by transmitting a message of independence and hope in the future to other women.

 

“One of the fundamental steps to tackle the virus is acceptance”

Innah Mentor Mother

 

Thanks to their life experience and to a strong bond with the community, these women are able to offer a tangible example and show the way to those who are facing the disease for the first time. From the start of cooperation between Enel and Mothers2Mothers, four Mentor Mothers have visited Enel's Tom Burke site to provide group training sessions and conversations with employees, to teach them how to protect themselves and their loved ones from the virus.

 

Always on the move, just like the mothers

In the first two months of 2017 alone, the project supported by Enel in South Africa reached approximately 2,690 residents of the community of Limpopo, providing, inter alia, 420 information and pre-screening sessions on tuberculosis, 158 meetings on gender education and on violence against women, and 32 visits to families.

It is a path that it is continuing to build together a better future and to carry forward our commitment to achieve some of 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN through these and other similar initiatives: education, good health and sanitation for all, gender equality, the fight against hunger and poverty and the promotion of partnerships.

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